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The Marine Corps wants ‘every Marine to be a leader in innovation’

“Give us an idea to make the Marine Corps better,” says Lt. Gen. Mike Dana in a not-so-serious launch video.

Lt. Gen. Mike Dana seems really committed to innovation for the Marine Corps. (Screenshot via YouTube)

If a three-star general in the United States Marine Corps like Lt. Gen. Mike Dana tells you to do something, you listen. He wants you to come up with an idea that will make the Marine Corps better.
The deputy commandant of Installations and Logistics is featured in a not-so-serious video that announced last Wednesday an innovation challenge open to Marines, sailors and citizens. There are two categories for the challenge that people can get involved with — implementing wearable technologies or making something with 3D printing or a similar technology.
According to the Marine Corps Times, the challenge is the first-ever of its kind for the Marine Corps, which follows a continued effort of implementing more innovation within the organization. Commandant Gen. Robert Neller called upon the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab to host an innovation symposium back in February.
This new initiative is embracing the wearables and maker industries in an effort to challenge the status quo, and hopefully get more Marines to think about what changes they want to see with the Corps overall.

The deadline for submitting an idea is July 15, and you can submit one through the website by yourself or with a team. The latter seems to be encouraged, seeing how one of the evaluation criteria for the challenge will look at the collaborative effort put into the idea. The other criteria include originality, how implementable the idea is and its overall benefit to the Marine Corps.
Winners will be notified starting Aug. 1, and those winners will have the chance to work with labs like the University of Southern Mississippi’s National Security Technology Accelerator program and the Army Research Lab to develop their ideas into reality. The Marine Corps Times also reports that the Corps will pay to send winners to the labs for prototyping, as well as giving them time to discuss their ideas with high-ranking leaders.

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